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Pre Oiler

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by david4451, January 16, 2017.

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  1. david4451

    david4451 Active Member

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    More than a year ago I fitted a pre-lube set up on my 2001 4wd Sport Trac. It had the timing chain rattle at START UP only.

    From what I can see the most destructive problem for the 4l SOHC is timing chain failure, members are posting regularly about this design flaw. This is 100% due to no oil in the hydraulic tensioners at COLD START UP causing the "death rattle".

    Ford knew about this and their fix was 1. No drain back filter(useless) 2. Oil restrictor in head(useless) 3. Improved timing chain plastic parts design(slight improvement 2002 on)

    If you have a 4l SOHC, with rattle at cold start only and fit a pre lube set up the mostly catastrophic timing chain failure will be eliminated for many thousands of miles on ALL 4l SOHC.

    Also it's useless putting new hydraulic tensioners in as they can't cope with the oil pressure required at cold startup.

    For more information see post "Pre-lube and centrifugal oil filters"
    Also check utube video "pre lube 2001 4wd sport trac"
     
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  3. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    I have been mulling over installing an Insta-Lube kit on mine. Is this what you used?

    http://www.engineprelube.com/

    So in the past year, you have zero chain noise on cold start?
     
  4. david4451

    david4451 Active Member

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    As I said look at thread on "pre lube and centrifugal oil filters" and utube video.

    Since fitting pre oiler I have never ever ever had rattle and I use it for hot and cold starts.
     
  5. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    Do you have a link to that You Tube video? When I cut and paste "pre lube 2001 4wd sport trac" into the You Tube search bar, it does not come up.
     
  6. david4451

    david4451 Active Member

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    Search "pre oiler 2001 4wd sport trac" on you tube.
     
  7. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    That does not come up with anything related to pre oiling an engine either.
     
  8. david4451

    david4451 Active Member

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    Try same title and specify in the last week in settings. It is there but you tube search is crap!!!!!!!! Maybe it's because it was uploaded from The Philippines????
     
  9. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    Can you cut and paste the link?
     
  10. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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  11. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    Thanks Koda, but that is not the YouTube link.

    Looks like this install used an electric pump. I would rather have pressure tank system like the Insta-Lube link or the ignition switch deactivation until oil pressure builds.
     
  12. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    I tried the fully pressed accelerator trick this morning on a dead cold start. Cranked for ~ 4 seconds before the oil gauge indicated pressure. Then I lifted my foot off of the accelerator and it fired right up, zero chain noise.

    I may install an Insta-Lube B kit or similar in the near future.
     
    Last edited: January 19, 2017
  13. Tech By Trade

    Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the reviews on the instalube site there is a review from an explorer owner on the front page. I am interested in one as well. Problem is, thanks to our almighty leader the Dollar is down to 75 c, so 275 bucks turns into 350, and probably closer to 400 after shipping quite quickly.

    I wonder if a guy went to a hydraulics shop, and got a fitting to fit in the plug in the head where the plastic piece goes on the work instruction for startup oil pressure, then ran a hose from it through a electric valve to a small cylinder to hold oil, if that would give you the same function as one of these kits? Have the valve close when the key is turned off to save the pressure from the system in the tank, then Have the valve open when the key goes on to release the pressure back into the system?
     
    Last edited: January 19, 2017
  14. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @Tech By Trade
    A slight problem might exist with the cylinder you mention. Similar to a water-well pressure tank, there must be a compressible fluid (air usually) present "over" the oil, to force the oil back out of the cylinder containing it. Assuming an air "pocket" is provided, during cycling the oil back and forth, the "compression pocket" will fill with oil, and then upon opening it back to the place needing oil pressure, none will flow out. Because liquid fluids are incompressible, gaseous fluids are compressible. To maintain the air pocket in well pressure tanks, or any hydraulic system having a "reserve tank", a rubber bladder keeps the air from dissolving in the liquid, and squeezes down on the liquid surface, to press the liquid back out of the tank. Such devices are known as "accumulators".

    Commercial hydraulic accumulators are readily available, maybe even in the small size you would need, but expensive. The ones I worked with were big---10 gallon tanks, heavy as hell, to withstand 4,000 psi working pressure. imp
     
  15. stretchman

    stretchman New Member

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    I put the gas to the floor and crank till oil pressure comes up. Take foot off gas and it starts with no rattle.
     
  16. Paul Fithian

    Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

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    Isn't that hard on the starter?
     
  17. stretchman

    stretchman New Member

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    I think a starter or battery would be easier to change than front and rear chains.
    I do not do it every time, just when its been setting for a couple of days or its really cold out
     
  18. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @stretchman
    When you do that, does it take a bit longer than usual to "catch", to actually start? imp
     
  19. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    @Tech By Trade - Because my '01 ST's SOHC rattles on cold start, I ALWAYS crank it with my foot to the floor on the gas pedal. When cold I usually crank it for about 8-10 seconds before lifting my foot, allowing the engine to start. Sometimes that's enough to see the oil pressure gauge pop up, sometimes not, but apparently even before the gauge indicates oil pressure there's enough pressure to fill the chain tensioners. If it's warm, but it's been sitting for a hour or so, I crank it for about 3 seconds. Doing this eliminates the SOHC starting flare (which I hate) and the engine starts right up smoothly with no chain noise. Is it harder on the starter? I supposes it adds extra wear to the starter, but most starters are designed to crank for up to 15 seconds without overheating. Starters are really easy to change on the SOHC and I have a used spare in my garage should I kill one. Pulling the engine to replace the timing chain components is a huge job and I wouldn't bother just changing the front t/c parts w/out also replacing the rear. As my ST is only one of three vehicles I can drive (and I only put around 4-5k a year on it) I'm in no rush to pull the engine out of it. Frankly, if I do need to pull the engine, I'd rather stick in a 5.0L and forget I ever heard the words SOHC.

    About a year ago, I read david4451's thread on pre-oiling and even sourced all the parts needed to duplicate his design for around $200. I haven't bothered to actually build the pre-oiler as I lost interest in the project and I figured out a free work-around.
     
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  20. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The big problem with the SOHC 4.0 isn't the lack of oil pressure at start up, but the tensioners faster wear rate than an engine should have. No one should have to service timing chain parts at random intervals from 100k miles, to sometimes 25k miles, depending on the random wear rate of internal parts.

    From countless examples people have posted on this forum about it, the SOHC tensioners sometimes last 100k, sometimes 150k or more, but often less than 50k miles.

    All engines suffer from wear at start up due to no oil pressure initially. Providing some kind of oil pressure source before cranking the engine is great. That is excellent for any engine. I plan to do that myself with at least my best SUV, but hopefully all of my vehicles. I prefer an electric oil pump wired up to run whenever there is no oil pressure with the ignition on.

    The SOHC has three main internal timing chain system problems. The two external chain tensioners have springs inside of them, which provide some pressure on the chain cassettes. Those springs become weaker over time, that's the most likely first source of chain rattle(looseness) in these engines. The cassettes also wear faster than they should(150k miles would be great if they could). When those wear down(plastic is ground off of them by the chain), that's when the rattle gets really bad and the plastic bits build up on the oil pump screen, or worse. There is also a tensioner and guide part mounted along the side of the main timing chain in front(the jackshaft chain). Those are also not robust enough to last long enough in an engine. You'd like them to survive 100k miles, or 150k or more, but they too wear down, or break, often much sooner than what you would like.

    Adding oil pressure at start up will help with all wear inside the engine, but not with the mechanical spring inside the external tensioners. Those should always be replaced more often, say no later than 75k miles. The rear one is simple to R&R, maybe a 20 minute job(15 doing the inner fender to get at it). The front one though is trouble due to the EGR pipe running right next to it to the intake. They aren't that expensive as parts, so find the time to do those at least, every time you here any noise and they have some miles on them.
     
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  21. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I disagree that the tensioner springs alone are the issue. I changed my tensioners (with Ford OE tensioners and added the front oil passage restrictor). It made zero difference. I believe that pre-oiling the tensioners (one way or another) does several things to prolong SOHC engine life.

    1. It takes the slack out of the chains, which allows for a quiet startup. The excessive chain slack may be due to weak/broken cassette parts or merely the chains stretching over time.
    2. It prevents the SOHC starting flare, which I believe is detrimental to the engine in general.
    3. Tensioning the chains before allowing the engine to start lessens the likelihood of the engine jumping time, which IMO is what kills the majority of SOHC engines.

    As discussed on this forum many, many times, there are several serious design flaws with the Ford 4.0L SOHC engine. Weak cassettes/guides, the fact the chain tensioners depend on oil pressure to function as designed, the fact that Ford decided it would be more cost efficient to use the same cylinder head on both sides of the engine, which makes it necessary to remove the engine (or transmission) to replace the right rear cassette. Using high quality synthetic oil, extensive oil filtration, changing the chain tensioners every so many miles, and driving like a grandma really doesn't make much difference.

    As far as pre-oiling, it prevents engine wear in general, but for a vehicle that's driven daily, not really necessary. I've read where people have preformed postmortems on high mileage SOHC engines and have found the bottom ends to still be in excellent condition. It's always the timing components that eventually kill the engine.
     
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